World Domination!

Okay, the tongue-in-cheek title was meant to catch your attention and I’m sure we’ve all jokingly talked about “world domination” in business or eDiscovery, but rarely is it a realistic conversation. I once worked with an eDiscovery provider that had a weekly “world domination” meeting, which was high hopes for a company with less than 100 employees! Today I really mean to talk about World Domination and only a handful of companies on Earth can truly threaten World Domination. @Microsoft is one of those companies and it should come as no surprise that the company has finally turned its eye toward the eDiscovery industry. Microsoft is truly world-dominant with its Windows operating system and Office suite of products, not to mention data server infrastructure. With all of those products hitting a saturation point, Microsoft has introduced new business models and offerings to continue the growth, income, and indeed, world-domination. When Microsoft purchased Equivio last year for a rumored $200M, it did so with an eye directly fixed upon extending the Office 365 service panoply and capturing eDiscovery dollars for customers already using the Office 365 cloud products. I have been fortunate enough to work extensively with Office 365 as an administrator and to attend several days’ of meetings at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond regarding Office 365 and Equivio integration. It’s pretty amazing, really, when you think about the previous cost of using Equivio, either as a provider or a consumer, versus the monthly cost of adding Equivio to your Office 365 subscription. There are a couple of ways of adding Equivio to Office 365: Equivio is included by upgrading to or purchasing the E5 level of Office 365 Enterprise at a retail price of $35 per user per month. It is also available by adding Advanced eDiscovery to any business-level Office 365 subscription for $8 per user per month. That means that you can have a full Office 365 suite of products including Advanced eDiscovery for as little as $13 per user per month, which works out to $156 per year. Most people spend more than that on coffee. Let’s be clear, the product is not perfect yet. There are still integration issues and enhancements to come but Microsoft didn’t become world-dominant by standing still and I’m sure that the enhancements will come over time. But looking at all that comes with the E5 suite, it is a tremendous value. Even the low cost option offers immense value. One the low end, users get online versions of the Office suite, unlimited Skype for Business online conferencing, Yammer enterprise, Sharepoint, Exchange email with a 50GB inbox, 1TB of online storage, as well as some fun additional features like Power BI and Sway. The E5 suite brings all of that plus a lot more including things like conference lines, voicemail, cloud PBX, unlimited inbox storage, Active Directory, AND the Advanced eDiscovery tools. I will dive deeper into the Advanced eDiscovery tools in the next post.